Hello, my name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can
Mulch is very tasty for most retrievers!
Yes, I'm afraid he likes to eat most things, sticks etc.
If there is any red color to the stool, it would be best to have a vet examine him. An x-ray of the belly can be done if there is any concern at that time during the exam that the mulch is not moving or is stuck at all. If the exam is normal besides the stool, then he can be started on a medication called metronidazole. This medication is an antibiotic that also decreases inflammation in the GI tract. This is usually the first place to start with this. Most of the time this will pass without any issues besides an upset stomach, and it is best to give them supportive care to make the process faster and avoid any major damage or infection to the GI tract.
your vet can also give you some pain medication to make the belly more comfortable. Avoid giving any aspirin or other human medications like NSAIDs as they can make this worsen.
Is there any other information that I can provide you with? I have not seen a response, so I just want to make sure you understand what I have told you and answer any further questions you may have.
I had hoped, I know assumed is a dangerous word, that the red was from the iron oxide that colors the mulch. Is that possible? Unfortunately the stool occurred during a walk pretty far from home and I foolishly threw it away. The stool from this morning while smaller than usual (not surprising since he hasn't eaten in a day) was not red, but did have that chemical odor. At any rate, I will take your advice to make him more comfortable. Luckily I have friends in the area that can recommend a vet. I know that you can't guarantee anything, but given the recent wellness work up and a vet visit 2 weeks ago in order to get his rabies shot updated, do you feel that the mulch is the most likely culprit? Would Cancer show such abrupt change in mood and stools?
The mulch is most likely the culprit. The red color can be from the mulch itself, but most often it is due to blood caused by irritation of the intestine as the mulch moves through. Cancer would be very low on my list for this dog given the recent normal bloodwork and ultrasound findings and what you have told me about him eating mulch. Cancer can present as pretty much anything, but it is highly unlikely that it is the cause of his current symptoms. It is most likely just related to eating the mulch.
Ok, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX so I have back up, would you have any recommendations for a Senior Dog Vet in Brooklyn, NY?
I would recommend Bay Ridge Veterinary Hospital. http://www.vcahospitals.com/bay-ridge is their website
Thank you so much for following up. He is 100% better.